From the network that brought you the Bush assassination snuff-udrama, the war crimes trial of Tony Blair, the Islamic “alternative Christmas message,” the anti-war agitprop film “The Mark of Cain” depicting British troops abusing Iraqi prisoners, and of course the highly nuanced interview stylings of Palestinian shill Jon Snow comes the latest episode of “Dispatches” and a fresh look at British Muslims. The blogging day doesn’t afford me a half hour to watch, but in fairness, the first of the five parts you’ll find below looked reasonably well balanced and interesting. Let me know in the comments how the rest is; the last clip appears to cut off before the show ends but I didn’t upload it so there’s nothing I can do about it.
The bit that’s getting attention comes about five minutes into the second clip when they interview “Abu Mohammed,” a jihadist with links to Al Qaeda who’s gained such a reputation among British intel that they kicked him out of the country. It’s absurd that they’re taking heat for this given the extent to which Islamic radicals already appear in the western media, both here and (especially) in Britain, where would-be Pope-killer Anjem Choudary is a perennial press favorite. But it’s good, I guess, to remind them occasionally that this sort of thing is frowned upon lest the coziness get even cozier.
The punchline? The one bit of stellar anti-jihadist programming Channel 4’s responsible for — the “Undercover Mosque” episode that went viral in January — is now being challenged by British police with claims that the producers ripped incendiary quotes out of context to make the speakers look more radical than they were. I invite you to watch the clips and imagine what could have been omitted, short of disclaimers that “I disagree with everything that just came out of my mouth,” to materially affect the broader context.
Also, as a counterpoint to what follows, watch Sky’s two-minute segment on jihadist turned reformer Hanif Qadir, who’s apparently steered quite a few would-be mujahids away from temptation since returning himself from Afghanistan. He can’t get funding from the British government now, for whatever reason. And naturally there are a few people in his Muslim neighborhood who aren’t big fans.